As much as I love reading and listening to podcasts and traveling to different places and writing about all of this, music is my passion. I grew up in a family full of musical talent and interest– my dad was a singer, my mom was a baritone player, both sets of grandparents always had music playing, we listened to classic rock when cleaning on the weekends– so it doesn’t surprise me that music influences me in many ways.
I fell in love with Oldies first, thanks to my dad’s parents. My mom’s parents fueled my love of big band and musicals. My parents got me hooked on bands like Foreigner and Queen. And then my friends started influencing what I was listening to. Somehow I kind of missed the 90s and early 2000s the first time around, but by the time I hit middle school, my friends were way into the Pop Punk genre. And so enters Panic! At The Disco.
I don’t think their specific brand of talent really hit me until I hit college, but I remember lounging around at parties– or rocking out in the dressing room while preparing for musical performances– and listening to their iconic “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” Ah, the simplicity of those days…
Now that I’m an adult and make my own money and can do whatever I want with it once the bills are paid, I gave in to my inner teenager and purchased tickets when they came to Cleveland.
Best. Decision. Ever.
I haven’t been to many concerts, unfortunately; only Queen + Paul Rodger, Thomas Rhett, Sam Hunt, and a number of Cleveland Orchestra concerts, really. There are several reasons for this I’m sure, including the fact that many of the acts I would like to see are, well, dead. Or at least not touring anymore. This is the price I pay for loving classic rock. But this is definitely something I want to change, and I’m glad I was able to start off this journey with the Pray For The Wicked tour.
The opening acts were good. Betty Who got things started with an upbeat vibe highly reminiscent of 80s pop, with the dance moves to match. Then Two Feet came out with a screaming guitar that harkened back to, dare I say it, Jimi Hendrix (you might say Santana if you listen his albums and singles, but at that moment it was definitely more Hendrix, far more psychedelic and raw). Paired with a killer synth and bass line, it literally gave me goosebumps. Yes, I have listened to them on repeat several times since the concert.
But of course, the show belonged solely to Brendon Urie and the musicians who comprise Panic! At The Disco. The entire show was high energy, with a masterful light and pyrotechnics set, and even more exciting, real brass and string players. They played many of their classics alongside hits from their newest album, and Urie’s voice set the place on fire. Broadway was definitely good for him.
The atmosphere in that arena was electric. Very few people sat the entire time Panic! was on the stage. There was dancing and screaming and jumping every time another banger started playing, and there’s nothing quite as chill-inducing as an entire stadium singing along– whether it’s High Hopes or Bohemian Rhapsody, which Panic! At The Disco performed splendidly.
Braving the Polar Vortex and -20 windchill on Lake Erie was definitely worth it for that concert. I laughed, I cried, I screamed, and I sang my heart out– and will buy better seats next time; I hesitated and got stuck in the nosebleeds, though that didn’t necessarily diminish my enjoyment. Panic! At The Disco creates a fantastic live experience perfect for music lovers like myself. 10/10 would go again in a heartbeat!